Daily Archives: August 15, 2007

The LOTRO Horse Dialog

Maybe I should have named this blog “The Home of Petty MMO Grievances?”  I seem to be carping about a lot of little things of late.

On the other hand, the fact that these little things matter to me is usually a reflection of my involvement with the game.  I want a game I like to be just a little bit better.

Anyway, my gripe of the moment involves the dialog box that comes up when you take a horse trip between stable masters in Lord of the Rings Online.  I am still ten levels and four gold coins away from being able to buy my own horse, but I am getting to the point where the 15 silver to travel quickly to keep my group from waiting is not a huge sacrifice. 

I am on a horse a little more often these days in Middle-earth.  As usual, I like to take screen shots of the things I do in game, and a dwarf on a horse is certainly worthy of a screen shot in my book.

However, when you are travelling between stable masters in LOTRO, your screen shot potential is shot.  You get to see this:


Yes, that stupid little dialog box is fixed in place in the middle of your screen while you ride.

Now who thought that was a good idea?  Where was the precedent for such a thing?

The only other game I know where you can jump off of a game controlled mount is EverQuest II, and SOE apparently felt that no similar alert was required.  If you want off a griffon, you just hit the space bar for jump, and off you go.

I guess that could come as a bit of a surprise if you hit space bar by accident mid-flight.  It is not problem for my fae, who just glides on down, or my ranger with his safe fall, but I could see ogre guardians having a hard time.

It looks like it will be at least another ten levels before I can get a decent riding picture in LOTRO.

Write Like a Real Videogame Journalist

Be a game journalist, or just look like one!

The International Game Journalists Association has produced a style guide for video game journalism.

Called “The Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual,” it is available for order here in hard cover for the pretentious or soft cover for the practical.  There is also a free-to-download .pdf version for those of us who are cheapskates.

There is nothing particularly revolutionary in the guide, but it is not meant to be such.  It is a reference book, which means it is there to spread consistency and conformity.

Of course, any such guide is bound to cause so disagreement.  Their general guide to writing reviews repeats the mantra of every technical writing course in insisting that the first or second person never be used, a stylistic hurdle that has lead to some of the most stilted prose ever written.

And there is even a bone to pick with usage of “videogame” or “video game.”  The manual says it should be one word.  Others say it should be two words.  I have to admit, my gut is to split it into two words.  But I am not a game journalist, am I?

Still, it is a reasonable dictionary of gaming terminology.  But there is no 1337 speak, so do not bother looking.

Addendum: As noted in the comments, the IGJA site is no more, but you can still find it at the Internet Archive.  And you can still buy the now likely out dated book at Amazon.  “Video Game” though, still two words.